Double Chocolate Malt Shop Cupcakes with Cherry-Vanilla Buttercream

This was Valentine’s dessert.  As soon as I found this recipe, I knew they would be perfect for Valentine’s Day.  There is something about the idea of a malt shop romance that just seems….well, romantic to me.

I picture teenagers from the 50′s, girls in poodle skirts and guys in jeans and white t-shirts, slurping down a single chocolate malt with two straws at a soda fountain shop in the heart of their little town.  Has anyone ever had a malt shop romance or does this only happen in the movies?

Anyway, these were fun cupcakes to make and eat.  They also looked very Valentine-y, what could be better for the three men/boys in my life.

These would also be adorable topped with a red maraschino cherry…next time, next time.

Sift together flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt..  Whisk to combine.

In another bowl, whisk together milk, malted milk powder and espresso powder.  Add the canola oil and eggs; whisk to blend.  Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until smooth.  Add the sour cream and vanilla and mix until well combined.  Stir in the miniature chocolate chips.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 2 regular 12-cup cupcake tins with paper liners.  Divide the batter among the tins, filling only halfway full.  Bake the cupcakes for 15 to 17 minutes, until they spring back when touched and a toothpick inserted into the center emerges clean.

While the cupcakes bake, prepare the buttercream.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the sugar and the butter on medium-low speed until well blended.  Add the vanilla and the whipping cream and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, until light, spreadable and fluffy.  Beat in the cherry preserves until well incorporated.

When the cupcakes have finished baking, let sit for 2 minutes in the pans and transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

While the cupcakes cool, transfer the buttercream to a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip.  Alternatively. you can frost the cupcakes with a knife or offset spatula.  When the cupcakes have cooled, pipe the buttercream in decorative swirls on top of the cupcake (or swirl with a spatula).  Garnish the top with a malted milk ball or maraschino cherry and serve.

Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for a midnight snack.

Double Chocolate Malt Shop Cupcakes with Cherry-Vanilla Buttercream
Adapted from Food Network

Makes 18 cupcakes

For cupcakes:
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup whole milk
2/3 cup malted milk powder
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
2/3 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips

For buttercream:
4-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1-1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
3 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream
2/3 cup cherry preserves (tart or sweet)
Malted milk balls or maraschino cherries for garnish

Sift together flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt..  Whisk to combine.

In another bowl, whisk together milk, malted milk powder and espresso powder.  Add the canola oil and eggs; whisk to blend.  Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until smooth.  Add the sour cream and vanilla and mix until well combined.  Stir in the miniature chocolate chips.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 2 regular 12-cup cupcake tins with paper liners.  Divide the batter among the tins, filling only halfway full.  Bake the cupcakes for 15 to 17 minutes, until they spring back when touched and a toothpick inserted into the center emerges clean.

While the cupcakes bake, prepare the buttercream.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the sugar and the butter on medium-low speed until well blended.  Add the vanilla and the whipping cream and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, until light, spreadable and fluffy.  Beat in the cherry preserves until well incorporated.

When the cupcakes have finished baking, let sit for 2 minutes in the pans and transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

While the cupcakes cool, transfer the buttercream to a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip.  Alternatively. you can frost the cupcakes with a knife or offset spatula.  When the cupcakes have cooled, pipe the buttercream in decorative swirls on top of the cupcake (or swirl with a spatula).  Garnish the top with a malted milk ball or maraschino cherry and serve.

Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for a midnight snack.

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40 Comments

  1. pam 1

    Malt shops make me think of Archie and Veronica and Betty!

  2. Amanda 2

    How fun! They look fabulous. Never had a malt shop romance, but I agree, very sweet. Love that silverware you have!

  3. Debbi 3

    These look so good! I love malt, such a great flavor!

  4. Debbie 4

    Absolutely adorable…..delicious too!

  5. Cheryl 5

    Adorable and delicious! (Tell me you sipped champagne with two straws from a single flute…. ;) )

  6. June 6

    mmm chocolate and cherry. Not much of anything better’n that!

  7. Barbie with a T 7

    Beautiful presentation, so festive for Valentine’s, yet romantic at the same time. In my teenage days, instead of frequenting the malt shops, our drug stores way back then had a soda fountain/lunch counter in them, and that was our answer to the malt shops in other places. It was minus the jukebox, but there were booths and the counter to gather with other friends and sit and slurp malts and sodas, and banana splits. That is where a lot of romances got their start just the same. These cupcakes are absolutely the cutest ones I have seen, and I imagine they taste just as delicious as they look!

  8. dawn 8

    These are absolutely the most adorable and tasty looking cupcakes I’ve seen, wow.

  9. These might be the prettiest cupcakes I’ve ever seen. I love the pink and brown together.

  10. annbb 10

    My husband would faint from pure pleasure if I made these for him!

  11. Holly 11

    I’m hosting a cupcake cook off in the next few weeks and I think this may be the perfect recipe to try for it!

  12. elra 13

    If these cupcakes were in my home, I don’t think I’ll have leftover to store in the fridge for midnight snack. Looks utterly delicious Cathy!

  13. These look so very tempting! The cherry vanilla buttercream sounds excellent!

  14. Laurie 15

    So pretty!!! I’m a sucker for malt shop romances too, even though I’ve never had one.

  15. Pam 16

    So pretty! I would love one of these with my coffee right now.

  16. Bob 17

    Awesome. I love malt, this is so being made. By me.

  17. These are so pretty. I love your buttercream. I just want to lick it off the screen.

  18. Lisa Sipple 20

    These are beyond exquisite!

  19. grace 21

    how perfect for ol’ v day, cathy–gorgeous work!
    meanwhile, i firmly believe that i was meant to live in the era of poodle skirts. i’m like an alien in this day and age. :)

  20. I have made these before! I must have gotten the recipe out of the magazine? I remember them being good!!

  21. These flavors sound so great together, and perfect for Valentine’s Day!

  22. Cherry buttercream icing on chocolate cupcakes…jackpot!!!

  23. Lena in VT 26

    Seriously one of the most beautiful cupcakes ever!

  24. Awesome .. these look darling and I LOVE the name of them.

  25. Katrina 28

    Please pass a cupcake or two. These looks so pretty as well as delicious!

  26. I love how these look! Please pass the milk….

  27. How fun!! They look great! ~LeslieMichele

  28. Marjie 31

    I like the espresso granules in the chocolate cupcakes! And, of course, what’s not to love about cherry and chocolate together?

  29. aww they look so pretty! Perfect for V-day!

  30. I love chocolate and cherry together. Great Valentine cuppies!! :)

  31. Janine 34

    Well could you just slap these on my hips and call it a day!! They look soooooo yummy!!

  32. Aww that is too cute! I love malty things (like superthick Milo shakes). Too bad they’re not gluten-free. But definitely makes me wanna have a thickshake with a cherry (or two) on top! Lookin’ good as always!

  33. Lisa 36

    Oh yes, they are romantic! I like the malt ball toppers. Very pretty and no doubt delicious too.

  34. MaryLou Rupp 37

    Gosh, I used to buy those comics all the time when I was a kid.There was another character who wore a sailors hat or beanie I think, but his name escapes me. Gosh, How long has it been since you’ve actually had a malt. hmmmmm

  35. I keep missing posts of yours via email…and this one definitely went unseen! Yum! And YUM! And I don’t even like chocolate but I think I might be willing to force on of these lovely little numbers down as they have CHERRIES! And I love CHERRIES!

    That, and my hubby is drooling over the pics.

  36. LeeAnne 39

    I love this idea! And as for malt shop romances, my grandparents had a unique story in one back in the 1930′s. My grandmother was sitting with her sister at a table by the window of a little ice cream parlor on Valentine’s Day. My grandfather was walking by with a few buddies. None of them had dates for Valentine’s Day, but my grandfather saw my grandma eating ice cream there and said to his friends, “I’m going to ask her out!” So he went in and asked her on a date and they fell in love.

  37. nicole 40

    oh I want these. so bad.
    that buttercream looks soo good.

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